Groundwater-Driven Wetland-Stream Connectivity in the Prairie Pothole Region: Inferences Based on Electrical Conductivity Data

Ali, G., Haque, A., Basu, N.B., Badiou, P., Wilson, H. (2017). Groundwater-Driven Wetland-Stream Connectivity in the Prairie Pothole Region: Inferences Based on Electrical Conductivity Data, 37(4), 773-785. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13157-017-0913-5

Abstract

© 2017, Society of Wetland Scientists. This study examined the potential for electrical conductivity (EC) to serve as an indicator of groundwater-driven wetland-stream connectivity in the Prairie Pothole Region. Focus was on the Broughton’s Creek Watershed (Manitoba, Canada) where thirteen wetlands and a creek were monitored in 2013–2014. A connectivity index (CI), computed by incorporating EC data in a hyperbolic solute export model, identified a potential for both shallow and deep groundwater-driven wetland-stream connectivity to occur, although shallower connections were rarer. Both raw EC and CI values were strongly correlated to wetland volume capacity, indicating the importance of storage and flow generation processes for wetland-stream connectivity potential. The proposed CI was instrumental in reaching that conclusion, making it a simple yet physically-based metric of wetland behavior that should be tested in multiple environments to confirm or infirm its validity.

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